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Message on the beer bottle (and the cereal pack) = improved health for Victorians

Friday 14 June, 2013

Today's announcements about food and alcohol labelling are two important initiatives which will improve the health of Victorians, according to Todd Harper, CEO of Cancer Council Victoria.

"Being overweight or obese and consumption of alcohol are two significant risk factors for cancer, so arming Victorians with better information through product labelling is an excellent step in improving health outcomes."

"At present, it is very difficult for consumers to get accurate information about what they are purchasing to eat and drink. We know that unhealthy diets are a key cause of obesity and until now, there has been no easy, quick way to cut through the layers of marketing on processed foods to understand how healthy these foods are in reality."

"The new rating system for packaged foods, Health Star Ratings, announced today by the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation will enable Victorians to make informed choices when they're in the supermarket."

"We know from experience and research in other countries, interpretative front of pack labelling systems help people make healthier choices. They are particularly effective with people from lower socio-economic groups."

"Better food labelling won't solve our obesity crisis, it needs to be part of a comprehensive plan, but it is a significant piece of the puzzle by empowering consumers to make healthier choices," said Mr Harper.

"We also congratulate the Health and Food Regulation Ministers for agreeing to take steps towards regulating pregnancy warning labels on alcohol products. Despite agreeing to voluntarily implement pregnancy warning labels in 2011, the alcohol industry's commitment has proved to be hollow."

"Making these pregnancy warning labels mandatory and regulating their design, placement and content will be a positive step forward for informing Victorians about the health risks of alcohol."